What Does a Law School Dean Do?

People often ask me: What exactly does a law school dean do? The answer is: MANY THINGS! Here’s a slightly irreverent look at a representative day for me:

7:45 a.m. – Starbucks
Pick up a venti iced non-fat caramel macchiato topped with coffee instead of espresso.

8–9:30 a.m. – Attend the Deans’ Council meeting
Meet with the Provost and my counterparts from the other 15 schools and colleges at BU to discuss University-wide policies that affect our individual units. If I don’t have a Deans’ Council meeting, chances are I have a meeting with the leaders of the Student Government Association or a Dean’s Management Committee meeting—in which all of the associate and assistant deans and department heads at LAW gather to facilitate updates and communication across functions at the law school.

9:30–10:00 a.m. – Check email/return phone calls
Drive from the Questrom Business School where Deans’ Council meetings are held to the law school. Take some time to reply to emails and return phone calls.

10:30–10:50 am – Class preparation
Make sure that all materials are organized and ready for class.

11:00 a.m.–12:25 p.m. – Class
Teach Secured Transactions to a class of upper-level students. It’s a great topic and very useful to many students in their careers. If I don’t have class, there may be time to visit an alum downtown, hold a faculty meeting, or prepare for University meetings (usually about the budget).

12:30–1:00 p.m. – Lunch
After class, I like to grab lunch in the McCausland Commons (aka the Café) on the second floor of the Redstone building. 

1:00–2:00 p.m.
Meet with one of our many faculty committees addressing, for example, the curriculum, student life, new programs, and searches for new faculty.

2:00–3:00 p.m. – Open Office Hours for Students
Meet with students who have questions from class or other items to discuss.

3:00–4:00 p.m. – Participate in a conference call
Some part of each day is usually spent on the phone with, for example, the Executive Committee of the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar (I am chair-elect of the Council), UnitedLex (a company with which we have a contract to offer a legal residency program to new graduates), my co-authors on our Copyright in a Global Information Economy casebook.

4:00 p.m. – Starbucks. Again.
Pick up a grande mocha light frappucino to remain caffeinated.

4:15–5:30 p.m. – Check email/return phone calls

5:30–7:00 p.m. – Events
Participate in law school, University, or alumni events.

7:00 p.m. – Go home!
Drive home. Be sure to prepare for the next class and to check the calendar to see what the next day will bring. Pack, if travel is involved! (This fall, I will be traveling to Chicago, London, New Orleans/Baton Rouge, and New York for ABA meetings, lectures, and alumni visits).


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